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Culture Club: The Curious History of the Boston Athenaeum
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Culture Club: The Curious History of the Boston Athenaeum

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Founded in 1807, the successor to a literary club called the Anthology Society, the Boston Athenaeum occupies an important place in the early history of American intellectual life. At first a repository for books, to which works of art were later added, the Athenaeum attracted over time a following that included such literary luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published October 1st 2009 by University of Massachusetts Press (first published 2009)
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Aug 14, 2013 Megan rated it liked it
The title was rather misleading: this was not a history of the Boston Athenaeum. It was 6 independent essays about various cultural issues that faced the Athenaeum in the 19th century. I could definitely see it being assigned in a history course about upper class culture in the 19th century, but it really didn't provide any context or any information about the actual history of the Athenaeum.

I also thought it was a little odd how Wolff is really critical about the Athenaeum not taking an officia
Oct 04, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This was a concise book that does a lovely job of providing an illustrative account of the founding of a cultural institution without overreaching in its claims or sacrificing the sort of rich detail that always makes histories of this nature a joy to read. I might have appreciated a bit more historical comparison (especially given that the Boston Athenaeum still exists now), but otherwise thought that Wolff provided an easy to read yet fully responsible look back at the early days of the ...more
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